Today started off as a relaxing day on the beach. The girls and crew got the chance to experience tons of watersports and even some volleyball. The girls were brought out in groups of 3 to participate in kayaking, and paddle surfing. It was fun to just watch them have so much fun. I actually started to see bonds amongst the contestants. Some of them were frightened to get out there, and without provocation, other girls swung to her side to comfort her. I am quite amazed that in a competition where only one of them can be crowned the winner, they all seem to have this camaraderie amongst them. It is inspiring to watch them grow, not only as potential beauty queens, but compassionate women.
Our next stop continued with the watersports theme, and we headed to Ausable Chasm. Ausable Chasm is an outdoor adventure, where one can hike, tube, rock climb, mine for precious stones and rafting, which is what we did today. Now, as a photographer, I know that water and camera equipment are not a good mix. But...in order to reach the point of the river where we got to the raft was a mile and a half hike. My camera equipment bag weighs a good 40lbs. So today in 90 degree weather, I followed, tracked and hiked with the girls...There was no way that I would follow them this far and not go rafting (truthfully, I didn't want to hike a mile and a half back). So I opted to pass my bag back to our tour guide and go down the river with the girls. Big mistake if you’re wearing sneakers. So the lesson to anyone that is reading this, DO NOT WEAR SNEAKERS WHILST RAFTING.
Tomorrow brings us to Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. I have not visited there since college. So stay tuned, will I be gloating that I just won a ton of money, or will I be complaining about how the cards were just not falling the right way? Either way, I will see you all tomorrow.
© Erik Teng Photography 2014